Before beginning an experiment, your students should know lab safety procedures and be familiar with the equipment and materials they will be using. You might also want to ensure that your students have read information in the textbook beforehand, so they can gain the most benefit from their time in the lab. Assigning a pre-lab quiz covering such information helps motivate your students to be prepared before they enter the lab.
Usually, pre-lab quizzes will be short, timed (15 minutes or less) assignments that cover the relevant safety procedures, lab equipment, and possibly other assigned reading. This helps to ensure that your students cannot skim the reading material or check other sources for the answers.
Most questions will be multiple-choice or short-answer, but you might use image map questions when having your students identify parts of lab equipment. Often, you will want to use question pools so your students cannot share answers.
Pre-lab quizzes should be given as individual, not group, assignments, and should be due one hour before the lab starts.
To implement this use case, see the following topics: